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					                                                                                             Volume 22 No. 1 Spring 1999
                                                                                                            Carolina Sun

                                                    Published by North Carolina Solar Energy Association

Solar and Renewable Sales Skyrocketing
                                                                                                                         GOAL       by
                                                                                                                          20%       2010
by Tom Mincarelli, Renaissance-Works, Inc.
                                                                                                                          15%       2005
    There is a race going on in North Ca-                                                                                 10%       2000
rolina — have you heard about it? North                                                                                   8.7%      1999

Carolinians are buying renewable energy
systems and high efficiency appliances
as fast as they can, making 1999 a record
year for purchases and installations in
old and new homes and businesses.
   A call to some of the dealer/instal-
lers in North Carolina will inform you
quickly that they are so busy that you
may have to wait from four to six weeks
for some system components, and up to
sixteen months for a SunFrost refrigera-
tor/freezer! Installation times are usually
backlogged four to six weeks, if you are
lucky, with two months being the norm.
   Many factors are making the public
                                              Typical Photovoltaic (PV) modules on a home.
pay now for systems and wait for deliv-
ery and installation. Maybe the biggest
                                              power in the near future. Other factors are     many parts of North Carolina this year,
of these factors is the “Y2K bug” and
                                              hurricanes, tornadoes, and ice storms,          bringing awareness of the delicacy of
the potential of unreliable public grid
                                              which have caused power outages in              utility power lines.
                                                                                                 Demand across the country and
NCSEA Gets Ready to Rumble                                                                    abroad has increased in the past two
                                                                                              years beyond the production rate of
                                                                                              many renewable energy system and
by Chris Larsen, NC Solar Center

   The popular new bumper sticker in              The bottom line for the Policy Com-         Continued on page 11
Minnesota reads: “Our Governor Can            mittee is increasing the use of solar and
Beat Up Your Governor.” Perhaps               other renewables in North Carolina in
NCSEA can adopt that spirit with the          support of the 20% by 2010 goal. Toward
new tag line: “Our Policy Team Can            this end, changes in state policies play a
Beat Up Your Policy Team.” Yes, the           critical role.                                   Sunrayce ’99                           3
NCSEA Policy Committee is keeping                                                              Letters to the editor              4&5
                                              Electric Utility Restructuring
in very good shape these days with end-
less activity. This activity currently            1998 saw the ebb and flow of activity        ASU Gang Takes Solar to
                                              on electric utility restructuring. The year      Ossabaw Island                         6
spans four areas:
                                              began with the optimism that the Study
• Electric Utility Restructuring
                                                                                               NC Solar Center News                   7
                                              Commission on the Future of Electric-
                                                                                               Calendar Events                   9 & 10
• Net Metering                                ity in North Carolina would finish its
                                              work and submit a recommendation to              Harris Lake Goes Solar               15
• Tax Credits                                 the full legislature by January 1999.            NCSEA T-Shirt                        16
• Solar Center Funding
                                              Continued on page 11
                                                 Chair’s Column
2501 Blue Ridge Road, Suite 150
Raleigh, NC 27607                                by Richard Harkrader
Tel. (919) 832-7601
Fax. (919) 863-4101                                 Spring is a time of renewal and anti-     the environmental community, has not
E-Mail:                     cipation of the future. NCSEA began          met in months and will probably only
                                                 1999 with a two-day Board retreat in         reconvene after the Legislative session
1999 Board of Directors                          January where we restructured commit-        ends. In the meantime, NCSEA has be-
Chair: Richard Harkrader                         tees and designed a very active schedule.    come recognized as an important player.
   New Morning Solar Realty                      We entered the new year with four new        Frequently we are asked for our opinion
Vice Chair/Chair-Elect: Hank Wall                board members — Van Crandall, Tom            and support by stakeholders. Hopefully,
   WoodWise Design & Remodeling
                                                 Wills, Lisa Wilson and Jon Zubizaretta       we can turn our position into gains for
Secretary: Parie Hines
                                                 — and four new committees: Sunrayce,         renewables and protection for the envi-
   Brown and Jones, Architects
                                                 Million Solar Roofs, Website, and Edu-       ronment and small electric customers.
Treasurer: Wayne Jones
   Brown and Jones, Architects                   cation. With all these new committees
                                                                                                  Outreach by NCSEA is going to
Director, NC Solar Center: Larry Shirley         and dedicated people, NCSEA is plan-
                                                                                              greatly increase this year. In addition to
Joyce Brown                                      ning lots of new activities this year.
                                                                                              the October 16 solar home tours, we are
   Chapel Hill Town Council
                                                    With the North Carolina Legislature       planning a huge event when Sunrayce
Van Crandall
   Pioneer Electronics                           in session we have begun several initia-     comes to Raleigh and Charlotte June 21
Arnie Katz                                       tives. Several legislators have introduced   and 22 with a Renewable Energy Fair
   Advanced Energy Corp.                         House Bill 63 to repeal tax credits inclu-   complete with exhibits, demonstrations,
Chris Larsen                                     ding the solar and renewable tax credits.    music, and food. We also want to make
   NC Solar Center
                                                 The NCSEA Policy Committee was al-           educational presentations in several NC
Sherri Zann Rosenthal
                                                 ready planning to propose revisions to       cities on US Department of Energy’s
   Eno Commons
                                                 the tax credits before this happened, but    Million Solar Roofs if we can get DOE
Scott Suddreth
   Appalachian State University                  Bill 63 has lit a fire. We believe that in   to help cover some of our costs.
Lisa Wilson                                      this case the best defense is a strong of-
                                                                                                  All these activities take lots of volun-
    Design Collaboration                         fense, so we are currently writing a pro-
                                                                                              teers and money. That’s why we have re-
Tom Wills                                        posal to integrate, simplify and equalize
   Solar Consultants                                                                          cruited a Board of hard working, solar/
                                                 the state tax credits for renewable energy
Jon Zubizaretta                                                                               renewable activists and we are working
                                                 and the manufacturing of renewable en-
   Innovative Design                                                                          on fundraising more diligently. We need
                                                 ergy equipment.
Executive Director: Susan Luster                                                              the participation of all NCSEA members
                                                     Our work before the North Carolina       at our events, and we need to continue
Administrative Services: Your Office USA
                                                 Utilities Commission on “net metering”       to enlarge our membership. We now
                                                 is advancing. Board members Joyce            have a beautiful new NCSEA T-shirt
                                                 Brown and Sherri Zann Rosenthal were         and hat that you can wear and a new
                                                 able to get the Town of Chapel Hill and      membership brochure you can give
                                                 the City of Durham respectively to inter-    your friends when they see you in your
                                                 vene in support, and several other impor-    new duds and ask you about NCSEA.
CAROLINA SUN is a publication of the NC          tant groups such as the City of Greens-      Or you can tell them to check out our
Solar Energy Association (NCSEA), a private      boro, the American Solar Energy Society,     web site
nonprofit organization founded in 1978 to
communicate with solar enthusiasts and solar
                                                 Solar Energy Industries Association and      where they can learn about all our ac-
building professionals in North Carolina.        American Wind Energy Association             tivities.
NCSEA carries out many of its activities in      joined us too. As expected, Duke Energy,
cooperation with the NC Solar Center, and                                                         Solar, renewables and energy
encourages the public to contact the Solar
                                                 CP&L and Virginia Power had many ob-
                                                                                              efficiency are our future!
Center (1-800-33-NC SUN) for solar informa-      jections. We have responded to these
tion. (The NC Solar Center is sponsored by       objections and expect the Utilities Com-        Let’s go get it!
the Energy Division of the NC Department of
Commerce in cooperation with NC State Uni-
                                                 mission will hold a public hearing this
versity.)                                        summer. You will be hearing from
                                                 NCSEA asking for your support in the
Managing Editor: Susan Luster
Editorial Board: Chris Larsen, Tom Mincarelli,
                                                 form of letters and attendance at the
                                                 public hearing. We can win this one!
  Fred Stewart, Scott Suddreth
Desktop composition: Klaus Holder
                                                    Our work on electric utility restructu-
CAROLINA SUN accepts unsolicited
manuscripts, artwork, and photographs.
                                                 ring and deregulation is also advancing,
                                                 although much slower. The Legislative
All materials are subject to editing.
                                                 Study Commission, where I represent

2 CAROLINA SUN Spring 1999
Come to the biggest solar event in North Carolina this
year! See futuristic solar cars and solar equipment that
is ready now!

Schedule of Events for Sunrayce 99
Location of all events: NC Solar Center at NCSU’s
McKimmon Center, Gorman Ave. at Western Blvd., Raleigh

Monday, June 21
3:00 p.m.         Solar cars begin to arrive
2:00-9:00 p.m.    Solar Now! Festival
                  Renewable Energy Exhibits and Demonstrations
                  Electric Car Ride and Drive
                  SnoCones, Barbecue, Vegetarian Specialties, Cold Drinks
                                                                                         er      te
                  Solar Powered Live Music:                                        P ow y    itu
                          Sue Witty, Contemporary Folk Artist                  l ar d b Inst
                                                                            So vide age
                          J’Azure, Contemporary Jazz Trio                             ll
                          Moment’s Notice, Lively Jazz Quintet              proar Vi
                          Larry Hutcherson, Rock ‘N Blues Band              So
5:45-6:00 p.m.    Awards Ceremony for Sunraycers
7:10 p.m.         Last cars arrive
4:00 & 7:00 p.m. Sunrayce Slide Show, Room 6, McKimmon Center
9:00 p.m.         Cars are locked up for the night

Tuesday, June 22
9:15-9:45 a.m.    Cars line up for start in McKimmon parking lot
10:00-11:00 a.m. Sunrayce cars leave for Charlotte Motor Speedway
                 Cars are flagged off in one minute intervals
Exhibit space is still available. Cost is $25.       Volunteers are needed! Jobs include setting up tents
Call now to sign up: 919-832-7601.                   and banners, staffing booths, serving food and cleanup.
                                                     Call today: 919-832-7601.

                                                                       Spring 1999 CAROLINA SUN 3
Letter to the Editor
The Case Against Tax Credits
   We all want to see more houses and         be accomplished through regulations or             cases making a bad reputation for
businesses use solar energy—it’s why we       codes, as in Israel’s requirement that             solar in general.
formed the NCSEA. But not all members         houses use solar water heating; loan
                                                                                            3.   Similarly, organizations like
agree that federal or state tax credits are   support, as is done for affordable hous-
                                                                                                 NCSEA can’t mount an effective
the best way to achieve our goals.            ing; by its enormous purchasing power,
                                                                                                 push for standards and licensing
                                              as in the portion of the Million Solar
   In an ideal world, mining, drilling,                                                          among installers if people are in
                                              Roofs Initiative that was to require Fed-
and damming, transporting, storing, and                                                          the business to sell credits instead
                                              eral building projects to evaluate solar
burning fossil fuels would have built-in                                                         of systems and long-term service.
                                              options; or through tax incentives. We
economic consequences that would put
                                              will not detail these different approaches    4.   At current levels the NC tax incen-
them in their proper relation to renew-
                                              in this letter, we simply want to place            tives do not sell solar systems to
able sources of energy. Producers and
                                              tax credits in context before listing our          homeowners. Their existence is
users of electricity and petroleum fuels
                                              objections to them.                                often a surprising icing on the cake
would pay for the environmental havoc
                                                                                                 for a system sold on the basis of
they leave in their wake.                        Five reasons we question the value
                                                                                                 broader philosophical or “big pic-
                                              of tax credits:
   In our less than perfect world, con-                                                          ture” economic beliefs.
centrations of energy bring forth con-
                                              1.   We do not want the solar industry        5.   NCSEA has to expend valuable
centrations of money, but not of
                                                   to be beholden to public largess.             time and political good will defend-
responsibility. The inevitable distribu-
                                                                                                 ing tax credits and monitoring their
tion of consequences means that we all        2.   An owner of a small business can
                                                                                                 effect. We do not wish to make a
have a share when it is time to pay.               not do planning if heavily depend-
                                                                                                 larger case of this than it deserves.
                                                   ent on a gift from the tax laws; po-
    The government in many ways aids
                                                   litical wind shifts too easily. When        All things considered, taxpayers are
and abets the current energy economy
                                                   the wind blows in favor of substan-      suffering very little from the existence
by subsidizing the real cost of energy,
                                                   tial credits, people leap into the       of this credit and benefiting from what-
all the while wringing its hands over the
                                                   business selling more tax credit than    ever CO2 avoidance it encourages. We
resulting trade imbalances, military in-
                                                   system. The credits in the 1980’s        just feel that there are other, more po-
volvements, and environmental degrada-
                                                   brought many operators into the          tent possibilities for creating a balanced
tions. What would a barrel of oil cost if
                                                   business briefly, and they put a lot     energy economy. For instance, in the
the oil companies had to pay for the
                                                   of water heating systems on roofs        midst of restructuring the production
Gulf War?
                                                   in this area. Many of these were         and sale of electricity there are great op-
   What is the best way to remedy the              fine systems, well installed, but just   portunities for focusing public aware-
imbalance? How can economic forces                 as many were poorly installed and        ness on the real costs of energy, and
be corrected to support the better alter-          vastly overpriced. And where are         deciding afresh how they are to be paid.
native?                                            99% of those dealers today? They
                                                                                               And perhaps someday we will re-
                                                   have closed up and gone. Many of
   Governments could work on this                                                           structure the sale of oil.
                                                   these systems have fallen into disre-
either by decreasing support for central-
                                                   pair or have been removed due to           Fred Stewart and Tom Wills, Solar
ized power systems, or by increasing
                                                   the homeowners’ lack of knowing          Consultants, Inc.
support for renewables. Either tack can
                                                   where to turn for service, both

                                                                                                  Mike Beaver

                                                                               Beaver Brothers, Inc.
                                                                                                 “Since 1919”
                                                                                                  Heating • Air Conditioning
                                                                                                  Solar Energy
                                                                                                 807 Corporate Circle
                                                                                                 Salisbury, NC 28147
                                                                                                 (704) 637-9595 Phone
                                                                                                 (704) 636-3764 Fax

4 CAROLINA SUN Spring 1999
Letter to the Editor                         NCSEA News                                             New NCSEA Mailing
                                             New board members                                      Address
Oldest Solar System                              Four new board members are on board
                                             for 1999: Van Crandall of Pioneer Electron-
                                                                                                    2501 Blue Ridge Road, Suite 150,
                                                                                                    Raleigh, NC 27607
in Raleigh?                                  ics, Tom Wills of Solar Consultants, Lisa
                                             Wilson of Design Collaboration, Jon Zu-                Our phone number remains the same:
    I wish to add a footnote to “Solar In-   bizaretta of Innovative Design. Tom and                919-832-7601.
vestment Turns 20" which appeared in         Lisa were elected last year and Van and Jon
the Winter 1998 Carolina Sun. But first      were appointed by the board to fill vacan-                 Please note our new mailing address:
                                             cies left by the resignations of Phil Mayrand          all other addresses are no longer in use.
let me thank the author, Fred Stewart,       and Eric Soderberg. When Eric returned to              We have contracted with Your Office USA
who, in his analysis of the economic         graduate school and left NCSEA, he also va-
benefit of domestic solar hot water heat-    cated the post of Chair-elect. The board has           to handle our mail and membership da-
ing, kindly used the particulars of my       appointed Hank Wall of WoodWise Design                 tabase—this is not an NCSEA office.
                                             & Remodeling to be Vice Chair/Chair-elect.
own system as his take-off point.                                                                   New Life Membership Category
                                             1999 Committees                                           Here’s a great way to support NCSEA
    To inform my decisions on type (air
                                                 Join a committee! We welcome all                   and be a member forever. For just $1000
vs. hydronic) and particulars (sizes and                                                            you can receive Carolina Sun and member
                                             NCSEA members be part of the action.
brands of components), I believe that I      Contact the NCSEA email or phone line to               discounts on events from now on. Fill out
had thoroughly canvassed the local           join in ( or 919-832-              the form on page 15 today and fax or mail
area, and the only operating systems         7601). Following is a list of committees and           in with your chosen payment option. Life
that I encountered had been installed by     chairs.                                                members get a free T-shirt as a small thank
dealers and manufacturers for demon-
                                             Nominations                Sherri Zann Rosenthal
stration. Do any of your readers know                                                               NCSEA thanks these supporters:
                                             Carolina Sun               Chris Larsen
of a Raleigh residential solar domestic                                                             Salisbury Community Foundation
hot water system predating ours? We          Solar Home Tour            Hank Wall
                                                                                                    and Fred Stanback, Jr.
first became operational on December         Policy                     Richard Harkrader
9, 1978, with two collectors; the third      Sunrayce                   Sam Olin and Tom Wills      Life Members
collector was put in service April 6,        Education                  Lisa Wilson                 James and Mary Serene
1981. Other than routine maintenance         Million Solar Roofs        Joyce Brown                 Richard Harkrader
and repair of a galvanic corrosion prob-     Web Site                   Scott Suddreth              Newest Sustaining Member
lem in the tank, the system has been in      Fundraising                Tom Wills
constant service ever since.                                                                        Duke Solar Energy
                                             Membership                 Parie Hines
   Is there another homeowner out
there with another vintage domestic
solar hot water system?
Richard Leuba
Raleigh, NC
                                                           Energy Conservation Products, Services and Consultation
                                                            Tom Mincarelli, P.O. Box 1118, Black Mountain, NC 28711
  Brown & Jones,                             Tel. (828) 669-1125 or (828) 669-7053 E-Mail:
  Wayne Jones, AIA                                                  **** PRODUCT LINE ****
   - dedicated to conscientious
   client service and environmentally             Solar Modules                Composter Tumblers                   Sun Ovens
   responsible design and construction
                                                  Wind Generators              Composting Toilets                   Sun Light Pipes
                                                  Batteries                    Water Conservation Products          Radiant Heating Systems
      Solar Home Designs                          Charge Controllers           No-Salt Water Conditioning Systems   Radiant Barrier Insulation
      Passive and Active Solar Design
                                                  Inverters                    Energy Efficient Refrigerators       Solar Hot Water Systems
                                                  Solar Light Systems          Energy Efficient Washing Machines    Instant Water Heaters
      Renewable Energy Systems                    Lighting Systems - AC/DC     Water Pumps AC/DC/Solar/Wind         Hurricane Proof Dome Homes!

   16 North Boylan Avenue
   Raleigh,NC 27603                              THINK GLOBAL ACT LOCAL - USE SOLAR ENERGY AND CONSERVATION
   (919) 831-2625
   e-mail:             Produced using Renewable Energy…Solar and Wind…For an Earth Restored and a World at Peace

                                                                                                 Spring 1999 CAROLINA SUN 5
ASU Gang Takes Solar to Ossabaw Island
by Scott Suddreth

    Jeff Tiller and ten Appalachian State                                                                                       they camp in tents
University (ASU) Appropriate Technol-                                                                                           on the southern tip
ogy students traveled to Ossabaw Island,                                                                                        of the island where
off the coast of Georgia, in early March                                                                                        a small diesel gener-
to install a solar electric and solar thermal                                                                                   ator supplies power
system. Jeff, who is head of the ASU                                                                                            for the camp during
Building Science program, is also affili-                                                                                       its seasonal opera-
ated with Southface Energy Institute in                                                                                         tion. The solar sys-
Atlanta, Georgia. Southface, an energy                                                                                          tem was installed a
efficiency/renewable energy organization,                                                                                       few miles away
was contracted to install a solar system             Integral Collector and Storage (ICS) solar water heater.                   from the base camp
on the 25,000 acre Heritage Island to                                                                                           at a beach camp on
pump water and heat it for solar showers.            tools over the four days of construction.             the eastern side of the island which had
Rod Baird of Rock Castle Solar helped                It was great having a silent generator!               no water or power.
design and install a large portion of the
                                                        The basic operation of the system is              As with any installation, there were
system. Southface also sent three young
                                                     pumping water out of a shallow well               many unexpected obstacles that slowed
employees to help with the installation.
                                                     and storing it in a 500 gallon storage            the teams down and changed the origi-
                                                     tank. The water then travels about 200            nal system plans, to the extent that the
                                                     feet to a Integral Collector and Storage          system was not finished when we left
                                                     (ICS) solar water heater. This type of            the island. The system is 95% opera-
                                                     panel resembles a common flatplate col-           tional and can be put online in a matter
                                                     lector used in solar water systems but            of hours. Jeff Tiller has had no trouble
                                                     has room for much more water. The                 finding volunteers to go again to com-
                                                     panel holds 55 gallons of water in large          plete the system. One of the most pesky
                                                     interior pipes, making it very similar to         problems we encountered was swarms
                                                     a batch water heater. The heated water            of miniature mosquitoes who were ap-
                                                     then flows about 80 feet to a raised              parently very hungry. We were forced
                                                     wooden platform that serves as a                  to endure tropical conditions in long
                                                     shower area.                                      sleeves and blue jeans to prevent our-
Jeff Tiller (right) and ten Appalachian State Uni-                                                     selves from being eaten alive.
versity (ASU) Appropriate Technology students.          Ossabaw Island has only five human
                                                     inhabitants and is filled with wildlife              The island is a magical place, practi-
                                                     such as deer, wild boar, armadillo, alli-         cally untouched by humans. There was
   The system consists of four 90 watt
                                                     gators, and wild donkeys. Other than al-          no trash, no buildings, no power lines.
photovoltaic panels that charge four deep
                                                     ligators, there are no natural predators          It was a great Spring Break for all those
cycle batteries. A 1.1 kW sine wave in-
                                                     on the island to control animal popula-           who made it out to the isle, and a great
verter then converts the DC power to AC
                                                     tions, so hunters enter a lottery for the         experience installing solar energy tech-
power for a well pump and a booster
                                                     opportunity to visit the island and har-          nologies.
pump. This basic electrical system sup-
                                                     vest game. While hunting on the island,
plied all of the power needed for power

              B.R.G. BUILDERS, L.L.C.                                                   Alternative Energy Products
                         Rob Robertson                                                             Sales and Installations
                                                                                                           Rod Baird
                         1210 Suite 104 SE Maynard • Cary, NC 27511
                                                                                                      Tel. 828-264-4484
                         P.O. Box 1836 • Cary, NC 27512
                         Voice: 919 461-1664 • Fax: 919 461-9649                            726 Green Knob Mt. Rd. • Boone, NC 28607
                                                                                                  Micro-Hydro • Photovoltaics
                                                                                           Energy from the Sun for the Heart and Soul

6 CAROLINA SUN Spring 1999
Solar Center • Solar Center • Solar Center • Solar Center • Solar Center • Solar Center • Solar Center • Solar Center

                                               Solar Center News
SOLAR CENTER                                   North Carolina State University • Box 7401 • Raleigh, NC 27695-7401 • (919) 515-3480 or 800-33-NC SUN

Power Washing Tests at NC Solar Center
    If you stopped by the NC Solar Cen-            The cleaning sequence consisting of
ter last September, you may have seen          two sweeps of a series of pressurize
Rob Stevens or Bob McGuffey dan-               water, once up and then once down. A
gling off a ladder over the Power Roof’s       soaking interval was tested between the
48 foot by 10 foot reflector in 70% rela-      two sweeps. Since city water was used
tive humidity and 90° F plus weather           for the washing, mineral deposits were
with the sun beating down AND up on            found on the reflectors. Manual wash-
them. They were not working on a tan           ings with a cleaning agent were used as
but making one of over 800 reflectome-         well, with better results than mecha-
ter measurements which they and Peter          nized spray. The best cleaning results                The cleaning system is made-up of a header and a
Nyahoro have made on the Power Roof            were measured after a light rain, and                 series of nozzles.
of the spectral reflectance of various ma-     conversely, when there was no rain for
terials. The Solar Center’s reflectometer      several days, the cleaning system im-
measurements are being used to evaluate        proved reflectance, removing dust and
several reflector cleaning strategies.         dirt buildup. The combination of rain
Since the surface reflectance has a direct     and cleaning reduced the average rate
relationship with efficiency, it is critical   of energy loss by about 80%, compared
to keep the surfaces clean to ensure opti-     with not cleaning at all. The analysis of
mal performance.                               the cleaning strategies compares these
                                               results with those of the control reflec-
   The Solar Center is assisting Duke
                                               tor, which was exposed to weather but
Solar to evaluate twenty different clean-                                                            The cleaning sequence consisting of two sweeps
                                               was not washed.
ing strategies tested between August and                                                             of a series of pressurize water, once up and then
January. The cleaning system is made-              Bob McGuffey, the Center’s primary                once down.
up of a header and a series of nozzles         industrial solar engineer, has also been
attached to the tracking arm of the col-       very active with the Power Roof thermal
lector. They evaluated different nozzles,      testing at Sandia National Laboratory.
spacing of the nozzles, operating pres-        Testing was conducted over a month
sures and the effects of rain. A cleaning      period. Initial results show a very good
run was conducted each week, but if it         correlation between the model and
rained just before the test, the test was      actual measured data. This will allow
not done. Reflectometer measurements           Duke Solar to run simulations for vari-
were made before and after each clean-         ous applications with high confidence
ing, as well as on days between clean-         in the model. The Solar Center looks
ings. This allowed them to quantify the        forward to continuing to work with                    Bob McGuffey taking reflectometer measurements.
cleaning effectiveness of each strategy        Duke Solar in the development of this
and approximate what the average re-           innovative solar thermal technology.                           Division

flectance will be over extended periods
of time.                                                                                                 North Carolina
                                                                                                         Department of Commerce
                                                                                                        The NC Solar Center is sponsored by the
                                                                                                        Energy Division, NC Department of Commerce,
                                                                                                        in cooperation with North Carolina State
                              COLLEGE of ENGINEERING                                                    University. However, any opinions, findings,
                                                                                                        conclusions, or recommendations expressed
                              North Carolina State University                                           herein are those of the author(s) and do not
                                                                                                        necessarily reflect the views of the Energy
                                                                                                        Division, NC Department of Commerce.

                                                                                                Spring 1999 CAROLINA SUN 7
Solar Center • Solar Center • Solar Center • Solar Center • Solar Center • Solar Center • Solar Center • Solar Center

Big Brother:                                   Type of incentive
                                                                                                                   Number of Utilities with this

Watching What the                              Direct Financial Incentives

Utilities Are Up To                            Grants and rebates
                                               Green pricing/investment programs                                                  28
by Henry Rogers, NC Solar Center               Leasing/lease-purchase programs                                                     4
                                               Direct equipment sales                                                              4
    Sure you’re being watched—by the
government, by the credit agencies, by         Voluntary Adoption of Incentives in the Regulatory Domain
your utility. But, ever wonder who’s           Voluntary net metering provisions                                                   1
watching the utilities? While the NC           Voluntary disclosure of fuel use and emissions                                     20
Utilities Commission watches Duke,             Line extension analysis services                                                   16
                                               DSM programs incorporating renewables                                               8
CP&L, and NC Power, who is watching
all the utilities in the country to see who    Technical Assistance and Public Information Programs
is doing renewable energy work? The            Public information/technical assistance centers                                    19
North Carolina Solar Center, of course.        Utility sponsored renewable energy research centers                                 7
                                               Demonstration projects                                                             24
   In the third phase of the database of
state incentives for renewable energy
(DSIRE), the Center has been asked by
the US Department of Energy and the
Interstate Renewable Energy Council to        Solar Bikes
find out which utilities are doing what
                                              by Jason Schripsema, NC Solar Center
renewable energy projects, and the re-
sults are in. I have been assisted on this        On January 22-23, a group of high                  test-ride a couple of very impressive so-
project by Anna Reed, who has done            school teachers, engineering students,                 lar-electric vehicles. The bikes could do
most of the digging to get the details on     and technology enthusiasts came together               18 mph and had a range of about 10-15
these programs.                               at the North Carolina Solar Center to                  miles—without any help from the rider!
    Included are direct financial incen-      transform a pair of ordinary bicycles                  Pedaling increases either the range or
tives, voluntary adoption of incentives       into lean, mean, solar machines. The                   speed, and while the solar contribution
in the regulatory domain, and technical       Solar Vehicles Workshop, presented by                  is minimal while riding, the bikes’ bat-
assistance and public information pro-        Dan Eberle and Art Boyt of Crowder                     teries can be completely recharged in
grams. The incentives apply to a variety      College in Missouri, was open to any-                  several hours.
of renewable energy technologies, not         one with interest, but was designed as a
                                                                                                        All in all, it was an educational and
just solar. A full description of the pro-    primer for high school teachers inter-
                                                                                                     fun couple of days, and I highly recom-
grams will be published early this sum-       ested in getting students involved in the
                                                                                                     mend it to anyone interested in solar
mer in a report titled, National              annual Solar Bike Rayce.
                                                                                                     energy or electric vehicles.
Summary Report On Utility Programs               This contest, May 28-30 in Topeka,
                                                                                                         NCSU’s Renewable Energy Society
And Incentives For Renewable Energy.          Kansas, was developed to give high
                                                                                                     (a student chapter of ASES) is planning
It will be available from the Center for      school students an opportunity to com-
                                                                                                     to enter a team in the adult league this
$50. The information will also be up on       pete in a solar vehicle design event. It is
                                                                                                     summer—both for fun and for the
the DSIRE web page this summer at             a much simpler and less expensive pro-
                                                                                                     chance to get their hands on some EV                  ject than either the collegiate-level Sun-
                                                                                                     and PV technology. Wish us luck!
   The specific criteria used to select       rayce (solar cars) or Solar Splash (solar
the programs are identified in the report     boats) but is much more challenging                        For more info on the Solar Bike
and care was taken to include only            than the Solar Sprint races usually in-                Rayces, just visit their web-site:
those programs that are currently in          tended for grade school students.            
place. In total, 155 utility programs are         Participants in the workshop learned
identified in the report. Sadly, there        the theory behind photovoltaics, DC
were no programs identified with any          motors, motor controllers, meters, bat-
North Carolina utilities. (If you know of     teries, and race strategy—all of which
anything in the state that we may have        was interspersed with the hands-on con-
missed, let us know!)                         version of two regular off-the-street bi-
                                              cycles. Everyone had the chance to

8 CAROLINA SUN Spring 1999
Solar Center • Solar Center • Solar Center • Solar Center • Solar Center • Solar Center • Solar Center • Solar Center

Solar Center News
by Chris Larsen, NC Solar Center

    The Center would like to welcome         Passive Solar Strategies:                       design. The second day is a technical
its newest staff member, Patricia Brezny.                                                    workshop targeted to technical profes-
Patricia is a graduate student in Archi-     A Computer Workshop                             sionals, but is of significant value to
tecture at NC State University and is        for Professionals                               everyone. Attendees will learn proper
helping the Center expand its web page                                                       design techniques from national experts;
                                             June 3, 1999
and with publication design. Welcome                                                         see how daylighting is used in class-
                                             DH Hill Library,
aboard!                                                                                      rooms, resource centers, gymnasiums,
                                             NC State University, Raleigh, NC
                                                                                             aquatic centers and offices; evaluate
    Center staff have been busy traveling
                                                Workshop attendees will learn the            various operations and maintenance
the state and the country this year
                                             computer version of the Passive Solar           considerations; and review specific
spreading the solar word. Executive
                                             Industries Council’s Passive Solar De-          lighting control, HVAC equipment
Director, Larry Shirley returned in late
                                             sign Strategies: Guidelines for Home            and design software tools.
March from a trip to Sacramento, CA
                                             Builders, and view demonstrations of
where he organized a national solar edu-
                                             other energy simulation programs. The
cation summit. Larry has also made
                                             idea of passive solar is simple, but ap-        Sunrayce ‘99
multiple trips to Greensboro and Boone
                                             plying it effectively does require infor-       June 21-22
where the Center is working with local
                                             mation and attention to the details of          McKimmon Center,
community organizers to develop Million
                                             design and construction. Some passive           NC State University, Raleigh, NC
Solar Roofs Committees. Boone’s group
                                             solar techniques are modest and low-
—headed by Jeff Tiller, Sue Counts, and                                                         Plan to join in the fun on June 21-22
                                             cost, requiring only small changes in a
Scott Suddreth—has already adopted a                                                         as the national solar car race, Sunrayce
                                             builder’s standard practice. At the other
name: ARISE (Appalachian Region In-                                                          ‘99, stops overnight in Raleigh at the
                                             end of the spectrum, some passive solar
itiative for Solar Energy). Henry Rogers                                                     NCSU Solar House. The race starts in
                                             systems can almost eliminate a house’s
and John Paces-Wiles recently shared                                                         Washington, DC on June 20 and pro-
                                             need to purchase energy for heating —
the passive solar word with the folks at                                                     ceeds over 10 days of racing to the Flor-
                                             but probably at a relatively high first cost.
the NC Recycling Conference in Wil-                                                          ida finish line on June 29 at Epcot in
mington, and Chris Larsen made a trip                                                        Disney World. The futuristic cars are de-
to Boston to talk with community lead-       Daylighting for Schools:                        signed, built and driven by teams from
ers in New England about grid intercon-      Introductory Seminar                            competing engineering schools around
nection issues. April saw Larry, Chris                                                       the country. They will arrive in the park-
and Bob McGuffey packing for Soltech         and Design Workshop                             ing lot of the McKimmon Center in the
‘99 in Kansas City where the Solar Cen-      June 9-10, 1999                                 late afternoon of Monday, June 21, and
ter had an exhibit and where continuing      Dillard Middle School & McKimmon                will be on display free to the public.
efforts were made to interest a PV or        Center, North Carolina State University,        The event will include a fair of exhibits,
balance of systems manufacturer to lo-       Raleigh, NC                                     solar “tekkies” to talk to, food vendors,
cate a facility in North Carolina. And,                                                      music, a program on solar car racing,
                                                 This two day seminar and workshop
ASES’s Solar ‘99 in Portland, ME is                                                          and a chance to visit with the students
                                             will provide school administrators, facil-
right around the corner!                                                                     who built the cars. It should be a fun,
                                             ity managers, engineers and design pro-
                                                                                             family kind of event, and your presence
                                             fessionals with the tools for accurately
                                                                                             will show the race teams and the media
Spring Workshops                             evaluating the benefits of daylighting
                                                                                             that North Carolinians support solar en-
                                             and other sustainable technologies suit-
    For a copy of the spring ‘99 calendar,                                                   ergy. Early Tuesday morning, June 22,
                                             able for school buildings. To meet the
call the Center at (919) 515-3480 or                                                         the cars will be “flagged out” as they be-
                                             needs of as many attendees as possible,
(800) 336-2786 or visit the web site at                                                      gin the day’s competition and their jour-
                                             this event is divided into two distinct                                                    ney to Charlotte Motor Speedway, their
                                             sessions that can be attended separately.
                                                                                             next stop-over. Put this event on your
                                             The first day-long introductory seminar
                                                                                             calendar now!
                                             presents compelling information on the
                                             benefits to students, teachers and school
                                                                                             Continued on page 10
                                             systems of daylighting and sustainable

                                                                                         Spring 1999 CAROLINA SUN 9
Solar Center • Solar Center • Solar Center • Solar Center • Solar Center • Solar Center • Solar Center • Solar Center

Continued from page 9
                                              Tech Corner: What are AC
Solar Update ‘99
Briefing “Electricity
                                              Batteries and AC Modules?
Restructuring: The Role                       by Shawn “Tech Guy” Fitzpatrick

of Renewable Energy                              Recently, two confusing terms have        and an Advanced Energy Systems MI-
                                              crept into the language of renewable en-     250™ utility interactive inverter. Ascen-
and Energy Efficiency”                        ergy. These are “AC battery” and “AC         sion Technologies offers the SunSine-
June 29 — 1:30-4:30 p.m.                      module.” Despite what these names            300™. This AC module consists of As-
McKimmon Center,                              might cause you to think, no electrical      cension’s own 300 watt utility interac-
NC State University, Raleigh, NC              engineer has found a new type of chemi-      tive DC/AC inverter mounted on an
   The Solar Update ‘99 Briefing, an          cal battery or PV cell that has a sinusoi-   ASE America’s 280 Watt PV module.
annual review of the most timely and          dal AC output. These are merely names
                                                                                              Several small utility interactive in-
important renewable energy topics, will       that describe systems coupling DC
                                                                                           verters are available for installer assem-
explore the electricity restructuring is-     power sources with AC power condi-
                                                                                           bled AC modules. Two of them are the
sue in a half-day briefing session. Pre-      tioning equipment. These new products
                                                                                           Trace MicroSine 100™ and the Ad-
sented by the NC Solar Center and NC          simplify the implementation of renew-
                                                                                           vanced Energy Systems’ MI-250™.
Solar Energy Association, the briefing is     able energy systems.
                                                                                           These inverters can be purchased and
directed to state and community leaders,          AC Battery™ refers to a product line     adhered to the back side of a PV mod-
business, industry, utilities, and environ-   produced by Omnion Power Engineer-           ule of appropriate size. These inverters
mental organizations. Solar Update ‘99        ing Corporation. This product line com-      have all of the UL 1741 and IEEE 929
will feature William Spratley, the na-        bines a maintenance-free battery pack,       required utility interactive safety fea-
tionally renowned authority on renew-         an inverter with maximum power point         tures. They also incorporate maximum
able energy and electricity restructuring     tracking, and a programmable power           power point tracking.
who closely tracks restructuring devel-       dispatching unit all rolled into one pre-
opments in all 50 states. Mr. Spratley was                                                     AC modules offer four primary ad-
                                              assembled modular power unit. Its output
director of the Ohio Consumer’s Counsel                                                    vantages over traditional PV systems.
                                              is either single or three phase AC power.
for 21 years and is nationally renowned                                                    First, AC modules allow a PV system to
for his consumer advocacy efforts.               “AC module” is a term describing a        be built up over time, adding modules
Richard Harkrader, Chair, NCSEA, will         PV module with an AC output. These           when finances allow. Of course mod-
speak about policy recommendations            are new PV product lines or combina-         ules can be added to any PV system,
made by the Association.                      tions of products which consist of a         but with AC modules, a big inverter
                                              small DC/AC inverter mounted on the          doesn’t have to be purchased up front.
                                              back side of a typical PV module.            Second, AC modules are self-contained
NC Solar Center 10th                             An AC module can be bought off the
                                                                                           systems. This is important because it al-
Anniversary Celebration                       shelf as an AC module or can be an in-
                                                                                           lows the buyer to take advantage of the
                                                                                           tax credit over multiple years as mod-
June 29 — 4:30-7:00 p.m.                      staller-assembled module. Several com-
                                                                                           ules are added. (Contact the Solar Cen-
Solar House, McKimmon Center,                 panies offer AC modules which are
                                                                                           ter for more information about NC solar
NC State University, Raleigh, NC              factory assembled couplings of PV
                                                                                           tax credits.) Third, and perhaps most im-
                                              modules and a utility interactive DC/AC
   Featured speakers: Chancellor                                                           portant, AC modules make installation a
                                              inverter. An installer-assembled AC
Marye Anne Fox (invited) and                                                               breeze. Each AC module can be con-
                                              module can be built by mounting a small
Jane Weissman, Executive Director, In-                                                     nected to a separate breaker in the main
                                              (100 to 300 Watt) utility interactive
terstate Renewable Energy Council                                                          service panel using ordinary UV resistant
                                              DC/AC inverter onto a single PV module.
                                                                                           Romex house wiring. Lastly, because
                                                 Evergreen Solar and Ascension Tech-       each inverter is only connected to four
                                              nologies are just two of several compa-      or fewer PV modules, failure of one in-
                                              nies offering off-the-shelf AC modules.      verter does not bring down an entire PV
                                              Evergreen currently offers two AC mod-       array.
                                              ules, Eversun ES-112™ and Eversun
                                                                                              For more information on these new
                                              ES-240™. These are prewired systems
                                                                                           products, contact your distributor or
                                              of two and four Evergreen PV modules
                                                                                           contact the Solar Center for a list of
                                              coupled with a Trace MicroSine 100™

10 CAROLINA SUN Spring 1999
Solar and Renewable…                          ordered up to one year. Quality installers
                                              of fossil-fueled generators are not readily
Continued from page 1                         available and many systems sit waiting
                                              to be hooked up and may never be in-
component manufacturers and distribu-         stalled correctly or used.
tors. Many customers are admitting that
Y2K is not the only reason they are in-           Many homeowners are not informed
stalling systems but that it’s just time to   of the maintenance requirements, noise
put renewables in their own homes and         factor, and, most importantly, the low-
lifestyles. It is certainly a great accom-    efficiency of these fossil-fueled units.
plishment to start off the new century        Generators lose efficiency when they
with a reliable and clean source of en-       are hot and not under a full load. While         Typical control panel for PV system.
ergy provided at home.                        charging batteries, a second loss of effi-
                                              ciency is sacrificed at the charger end,
   Here’s a rundown on how long vari-                                                          duced from 20 or 30 kWh to much less
                                              and the result may be that for every dol-
ous systems and appliances are being                                                           when homeowners are diligent about
                                              lar spent on fuel, only fifty cents is
back-ordered and installation times at                                                         using high efficiency appliances and
                                              returned in the form of electricity.
the time of this writing (early April).                                                        smarter use of energy. Homeowners are
                                              Twenty-four hour operation of gener-
                                                                                               recognizing that every Watt not used is
    Photovoltaic (PV) modules are readily     ators is expensive: some large propane
                                                                                               a Watt that doesn’t have to be produced
available and have not been back-ordered      generators can consume up to five gal-
                                                                                               and every dollar spent on energy-efficient
at this time, but some brands’ specific       lons per hour and over twenty-four
                                                                                               appliances will save three to five dollars
sizes are not consistently available. Mi-     hours may cost $100 to operate. Rising
                                                                                               on solar and renewable energy equip-
crohydro generator orders are back-           prices for fossil fuels and low availabil-
logged about six-eight weeks at this          ity may be a problem overlooked by
time. Wind generators are backlogged          purchasers. This information is helping             When the year comes to an end, no
from four weeks to four months, de-           many new purchasers recalculate the              one can predict if the availability of
pending on the size. Some batteries re-       sizing of batteries and renewable charg-         renewables will fall further behind the
quire a four week lead time from order        ing sources and add PV, microhydro or            growing demand or whether a stabiliz-
to delivery and inverters with complete       wind generators, and increase battery            ing of supply and demand will occur.
control systems may require four to six       bank sizing to the largest available. This       Prices will probably rise as with all
weeks. Solar hot water collectors and         allows them minimum- to no-fossil-               other appliances, and many homeown-
components are taking about four              fueled generator running time.                   ers will realize that investing now will
weeks to deliver from order time.                                                              save aggravation later. With a properly
                                                  As for typical system sizes and effi-
                                                                                               sized and maintained renewable energy
    Many residents are installing high-       ciencies, the average size of a PV system
                                                                                               system and high efficiency appliances,
efficiency water pumping and storage          is now around 2 kW, and battery banks
                                                                                               many North Carolina residents will be
systems for domestic potable water sup-       often store about 80 kWh of energy.
                                                                                               ready to enter the new millennium with
plies, whether they are on municipal          The battery voltage is now commonly
                                                                                               great joy and security.
water supplies or have an existing well.      48 Vdc and the efficiency has increased.
Special DC-powered pumps are taking           Inverters are often stacked to supply 8
about two to four weeks to deliver.           to 11 kW of continuous 120 or 220 Vac
                                              power with up to 22 kW of surge capa-
   The appliances in most demand are          bility, dwarfing most small fossil-fueled
gas, propane and diesel generators and        generators. The average daily kilowatt
wood fireplaces, which are back-              hour loads of many homes has been re-

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                                                                                        Spring 1999 CAROLINA SUN 11
NCSEA Gets Ready…                             the general reluctance of some utilities    best audience for your letter.
                                              to see their monopolies shaken up.
                                                                                          Net Metering
Continued from page 1                            NCSEA, however, has not been                NCSEA is in the throes of the net
That date has come and gone without           standing still. In the fall of last year,   metering docket with the NC Utilities
much headway on the part of the Com-          NCSEA commissioned a statewide poll         Commission. Since the last issue of the
mission.                                      that showed strong support for its re-      Sun, there have been two rounds of
                                              structuring proposals, and has been         comments submitted to the Commission.
    The reasons the Commission has            working behind the scenes to put itself     The sidebar shows who came out for
been inactive on this issues are twofold.     in a better bargaining position once dis-   and against net metering in the formal
First, the Commission cannot meet             cussions begin again. As a governor-        intervention process as well as those or-
while the legislature is in session (Janu-    appointed member of the Study Com-          ganizations that have shown support.
ary through May of this year). But even       mission, Richard Harkrader has kept his     NCSEA would like to thank all those
before the November election, restruc-        finger close to the pulse of the legisla-   members who answered the call and
turing activity was stalled in large part     ture and promises to keep NCSEA at          wrote letters of support for net metering.
to the marathon budget session of 1998.       the bargaining table to the very end.       Those letters were submitted as part of
Second, after the November elections
                                                  To see a copy of NCSEA’s position       NCSEA’s first round of formal com-
when the House was won by the Demo-
                                              statement on restructuring, visit the web   ments. In the words of one member of the
crats, it was realized that the members
                                              site at          NC Utilities Commission Public Staff,
of the commission appointed by the
                                                                                          “We’ve never seen this many people re-
House Republican leadership in 1997              How you can help with restructuring      spond to a formal Commission docket!”
would be replaced by new members ap-          … Call your legislators! Encourage them
pointed by the new Democratic leader-         to support electric utility restructuring       But the battle is far from over. It has
ship. This essentially paralyzed the          whether or not they are on the Study        been hinted that the Commission may
Commission from November to January.          Commission. You can also write letters      rule on the development of technical in-
                                              to show your support. If you would like     terconnection standards for customer
   These logistical issues aside, the main
                                              to write a letter, contact Richard Hark-    generators with renewables but not rule
hurdle to electric utility restructuring in
                                              rader at to find       on net metering itself. This would mean
North Carolina remains the $5-6 billion
                                              out the important talking points and the    that while it would be relatively easy to
stranded costs held by ElectriCities and
                                                                                          hook up your system to the grid, you
                                                                                          may not get the economic benefits and
                                                                                          peace of mind that comes with net me-

        Solar Home for Sale                                                               tering.

                                                                                                  BECAUSE WHAT YOU
                                                                                                      PRINT ON

                                                                                                    IS AS IMPORTANT
                                                                                                    AS WHAT YOU SAY

   q 4500 sq.ft. multilevel q Solar water heating                                                  Grass Roots Press, Inc.
     contemporary in          system                                                                401 1/2 W. Peace Street
     Chapel Hill’s Historic                                                                     Raleigh, North Carolina 27603
                            q Low heating and                                                           (919) 828-2364
                              cooling bills (gas
   q High performance         heat backup)                                                            Offset Printing
     passive solar home
                            q Superb workmanship
     designed by                                        Janet Zelman, Broker
     Innovative Design      q Extensive decking;                                                 WE NOW HAVE 100%
                                                        Franklin Street Realty                 POST CONSUMER WASTE
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12 CAROLINA SUN Spring 1999
    How you can help with net meter-                the state’s tax credits-not just renewable
ing… More letters!! The first request for           energy credits. The good news, is that
letters from the membership drew a lot of           the bill was introduced in last year’s ses-              Residential
response, and we need to keep it up. If             sion and, with the change of leadership
                                                                                                        Passive Solar Design
you would like to write a letter, contact           in the House, the bill is not expected to
Chris Larsen (              pass even though this is a tight budget              Green Architecture
at the Solar Center to get tips on lan-             year for the state. Still, NCSEA sees
guage to use. Come to the Public Hear-              this as an opportunity to improve the
ing! The Commission will host a public              current slate of credits. NCSEA is work-
hearing on net metering this summer                 ing with the Revenue Department to
(date TBA) in the Dobbs Building in                 make the tax credits more simple, and
downtown Raleigh. It is vital that NCSEA            the proposed changes have been intro-
                                                                                                          Alicia Ravetto, aia
have a good showing for the hearing. In             duced to the General Assembly by Rep-                     Architect
Iowa two years ago, the overwhelming                resentatives Joe Hackney of Chapel
public turn out at a net metering hearing           Hill, Paul Luebke of Durham, and                              a
was one of the primary factors that led             Daniel McComas of Wilmington as
to the Iowa Commission to keep net me-              House Bill No. 1472 for residential and            400 West Weaver Street
tering. You make a difference!                      commercial and 1473 for manufacturers.
                                                                                                         Carrboro, NC 27510
    Those who responded in favor of the                 How you can help with tax credits…
net metering docket included NCSEA,                 All members are encouraged to write or
                                                                                                         Tel. 919-933-0999
the Attorney General’s office, NC Con-              call their state legislators to encourage            Fax. 919-933-1988
sumers Council, Cities of Durham and                their support for the tax credits. The
Greensboro, Town of Chapel Hill, Smith              easiest way to get the contact informa-
Farms, American Solar Energy Society,               tion for your Representative or Senator
American Wind Energy Association,                   is through the General Assembly web
Solar Energy Industries Association,                page at
Conservation Council of North Carolina,             Or call the General Assembly main
Sierra Club, Eno River Association,                 number at (919) 733-7928.
Trace Engineering, Evergreen Solar,
                                                    Solar Center Funding
and many NCSEA members (thanks to
all for your letters). Responding against               The fourth area of work for the Pol-
the docket were Carolina Power &                    icy Committee is Solar Center funding.
Light, Duke Energy, and the Public                  Currently the Center receives no fund-
Staff of Utilities Commission. North                ing from the state general budget —
Carolina Power/VEPCO was neutral.                   all funding comes from individual con-
                                                    tracts and grants, the largest of which is
Tax Credits                                         from the NC Energy Division. In order to          850 West Morgan St.
   North Carolina enjoys the most com-              ensure long term, stable support for the          Raleigh, NC 27603
prehensive set of tax credits in support            Center’s public education and applied             Phone: 919 832 6303
of renewable energy in the country.                 research activities, NCSEA is urging
These credits, however, are threatened
by a House bill that would repeal all of            Continued on page 14

Category                             Percentage                               Limit

Current tax credits

Solar residential                         40%                                   $1,500

Solar commercial                          35%                                  $25,000

Solar manufacturer (PV)                   25%                                    none
Proposed tax credits (increased to cover all renewable technologies)

                                                               $1400 solar water heating,
Solar residential                         35%
                                                               $3500 solar space heating              ENERGY EFFICIENT &
                                                               $10,500 photovoltaics, micro-hydro,
                                                               wind and biomass electric generation   ENVIRONMENTALLY
Solar commercial                          35%                                 $250,000                SENSITIVE DESIGN
Solar manufacturer                        35%                                    none

                                                                                                  Spring 1999 CAROLINA SUN 13
                                  Continued from page 13                                 		

                                  the legislature to add a line item in the               
    Power by                      state budget for the Center. This is no
  Mother Nature.                  easy task, given the tight state budget               Your costs are kept low, your time
                                  this year. But because the Center cannot              commitments are kept short (no long
                                                                                        term leases - unless you want one).
                                  directly lobby the legislature on its own             You decide the exact combination of
                                  behalf, NCSEA’s role is critical.                     space and support services that you
                                                                                        need and we’ll tailor a package
                                     How you can help with Solar Center                 according to your requirements.
                                  funding… Write a letter or call your
                                  legislator. Let them know that the Solar
                                                                                          Furnished/Unfurnished Offices
                                  Center’s activities are of value to the                 Building Directory Listing
                                  state. See above for the General Assem-                 Video Conferencing
                                  bly web page and phone number.                          Professional Receptionists

                                  Funding Policy Work                                    Prestigious Address
                                                                                         High Tech Phone Systems
                                     How does NCSEA pay for all of                       Elegant Conference Rooms
                                  these activities? Efforts in 1998 were                 Fax/Copy/Gen . Office Services
Powerful Solutions                funded in large part through a generous
   by Hutton.                     grant from the Z. Smith Reynolds Foun-                 (919) 863-4100 CALL US TODAY !
                                  dation. In November 1997 the Founda-                          2501 Blue Ridge Road, Suite 150
                                                                                                      Raleigh, NC 27607
 Mother Nature may provide the    tion awarded NCSEA $35,000 for work                                FAX: (919) 863-4101
 energy, but only Hutton can      on electric utility restructuring. Because         
 show you how to harness that     of the Foundation’s generous support,
 energy and put it to work.       NCSEA has asked them for continued                   Solar Web Sites
                                  funding of its work in the policy area.              North Carolina Solar Energy Association:
 Our dedicated Power Systems      The Association has also benefited from              North Carolina Solar Center:
 professionals can help you de-   the generous support of the Salisbury                American Solar Energy Society:
 sign a solar power system to     Community Foundation which contrib-                  Duke Solar Energy:
 meet     your    requirements,   uted $10,000 this year. One thing that is
 specify the necessary equip-                                                          Solar Energy Industries Association:
                                  becoming apparent through all of this
 ment and then supply you with    and last year’s work is that NCSEA is                joining, please contact NCSEA at (919)
 the integrated products on
                                  the lead statewide organization carrying             832-7601 or
 time, exactly where you need
                                  the banner for all renewables in North
 them.                                                                                 Tax Credits
                                  Carolina. It’s an exciting position to be
                                  in when there is such a flurry of activity.             The Association is proposing a
 From solar modules to com-
                                                                                       change in the tax credit code to simplify
 plete, integrated systems —      Get involved!                                        the state’s renewable energy tax credits
 Hutton Power Systems can
                                     NCSEA strongly urges its membership               and to increase their value to prospective
 provide complete product so-
 lutions to meet your primary,    to get involved with these issues either             system buyers. The last time the credits
 remote and back-up power         by joining the Policy Committee or by                were changed was in 1994 when most
 requirements.                    sending letters of support on these issues.          were increased slightly. The table on
                                  The Policy Committee meets approxi-                  page 13 highlight the changes that are
                                  mately once a month, usually in the Tri-             being proposed.
                                  angle area. If you are interested in

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14 CAROLINA SUN Spring 1999
Harris Lake Goes Solar                            Order Form
by Fred Stewart

    Wake County Park System continues to
                                                  Name: ______________________________________________________________
put its money where its mouth is. By install-
ing a PV-driven domestic solar hot water          Company ____________________________________________________________
heater on their new facility at Harris Lake
recreation area, they have demonstrated their     Address: ____________________________________________________________
support for the technology.
    The new recreation area is located ten        City/State/Zip: _______________________________________________________
miles south of Cary on US 1 at the Shearon
                                                  Telephone: (__________) ______________________________________________
Harris exit. It exhibits a number of environ-
mentally-sound construction techniques,           E-Mail: _____________________________________________________________
from the low VOC paints and stains to the
long-lasting, recyclable copper roof on the
rest station.
                                                  New NCSEA T-shirt (see design on next page) and hat
    The Park System was previously involved
in solar when they installed a solar water        $15 each includes postage and handling
heater at their Blue Jay Point center at Falls    T-shirts available in L and XL, light blue, light green, athletic gray, or organic cotton natural.
                                                  Hats available in purple, forest green, forest green with navy bill, or khaki with forest green bill.
Lake (with the help of the NC Solar Center)
and should be applauded for their consistent
support of solar with this installation.           Qty.         T-shirt      Hat            Color                            Size       Total Amount

   So check out this new facility the next
time you’re looking for a spot for the family

            Solar Village
             Independent Renewable Power          NCSEA Life Membership: $1000
   Dealers, Installers, Educators
   Solar, Wind & Micro Hydro Systems              Support vital NCSEA activities and never pay another membership fee.
   Serving the Carolinas and Virginia.
                                                       Pay in full now
                                                       4 quarterly payments of $250                 Date _______          Total $ ___________
                                                       (we will process first credit card
                                                       payment within 30 days of receipt)           Visa/MC ____ ____ ____ ____ Exp. Date ___
                                                       check enclosed                               Signature ____________________________
                                                       charge my credit card
   Solar Village Institute inc.
   Chris and Lynn Carter                          Life Members get a free T-shirt. Select color and size above when sending in membership fee.
   PO Box 14
   Saxapahaw, NC 27340
   336.376.9530                                   Mail form with check OR fax with credit card information to: Fax: 919-863-4101
   email                     NCSEA, 2501 Blue Ridge Rd., Suite 150, Raleigh, NC 27607 (new address)
      Living off the grid since 1992!

                             NCSEA Membership                    The North Carolina Solar Energy Association and the American Solar
                             Categories                          Energy Society (its parent organization) rely on people like you for support
                                                                 of solar activities. Join now! Sign up a business associate, a client, a friend.
                             Individual: $30
                             Professional: $50
                             Corporate: $95                      Name: _______________________________________________________________
                             Sustaining: $250
                             Student: $15                        Company ____________________________________________________________
                             ASES: $55
                             (Special Rate for NCSEA             Address: _____________________________________________________________
                             members; includes
                             Solar Today magazine)
                                                                 City/State/Zip: _______________________________________________________

                             Contribution: $ __________
                                                                 Telephone: (__________) ______________________________________________
                             New Member
                             Renewal                             E-Mail: ______________________________________________________________

                                                                                                     Spring 1999 CAROLINA SUN 15
  New NCSEA Address
  Your Office USA is now receiving and managing our mail and membership database at            Thanks to
  2501 Blue Ridge Road, Suite 150                                                             our sponsors:
  Raleigh, NC 27607                                                                         Alicia Ravetto, AIA
  Other addresses are no longer in use.

  Same phone number:              919-832-7601
                                                                                              Beaver Brothers
  New fax number:                 919-863-4101                                                 BRG Builders
  Same e-mail:                    ncsea@                                Brown and Jones, Architects
                                                                                        Carolina Country Builders
                                                                                           Design Collaboration
                                                                                         Enertia Building Systems
                                                                                             Grass Roots Press
                                                                                          Hutton Power Systems
                                                                                          Innovative Design, Inc.
                                                                                           Janet Zelman, Realtor
                                                                                         Renaissance-Works, Inc.
                                                                                             Rock Castle Solar
                                                                                           Solar Village Institute
                                                                                      Sundance Power Systems, Inc.

   NCSEA T-shirt:                                                                                     Support the
   $15 includes postage and handling. Available in L and XL,
   light blue, light green, athletic gray, or organic cotton natural.                 Environmental Federation
   See order form inside back cover (page 15).                                            of North Carolina
                                                                                      Help keep North Carolina healthy and green.
                                                                                       Look for us in your workplace campaign.
    NCSEA thanks Mindspring for
   providing our Webspace at URL:                                                      EFNC, PO Box 196, Durham, NC 27702
                                                                                         919-687-4840, 800-200-6311
For more information send E-Mail to:                                                                      NCSEA is a charter member of EFNC.

                                   North Carolina Solar Energy Association                                       Non-profit Org.
                                   2501 Blue Ridge Road, Suite 150                                              US. Postage Paid
                                   Raleigh, NC 27607                                                              Raleigh, NC
                                                                                                                Permit No. 1183

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